Outside The Lines

Aug 1, 2015 by Marcia Diane

This hot July, soon to be August, I decided to feature a Fellow from the Cave Canem Foundation…this is a literary foundation; a home for the many voices of African American poetry and is committed to cultivating the artistic and professional growth of African American poets.

I have a special connection to this foundation, founded by Toi Derricotte mentor and person extraordinaire to a dear friend of mine. Toi herself is an accomplished poet and recently retired professor of creative writing at University of Pittsburg.

So it gives me great pleasure to present Opal Palmer Adisa, Fellow of The Cave Canem Foundation and her poem; The Painter.

Diverse, innovative and multi-genre, Opal Palmer Adisa is an exceptional talent, nurtured on cane-sap and the oceanic breeze of Jamaica. Charismatic and informed, Adisa’s concerns span the gamut from children to the environment, and as such there is hardly any topic that she has not written about either in poetry, prose or essay. An award-winning poet and prose writer Dr. Adisa has twelve titles to her credit, including the novel, It Begins With Tears (1997), proclaimed by Rick Ayers as one of the most motivational works for young adults.

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

THE PAINTER

(for lloyd walcott)

he came into

our home

with furrowed brows

seeking in his sister

the parent

he never had

this man my uncle

looking nothing

like my mother

no ready smile

no burnt cork skin

just a tentative artist

who knew the smell

of the kitchen

the feel of a knife

that unfolds a cabbage

as well as acrylic brushes

on canvas

it wasn’t his desire

to prepare food

for the rich to savour

or to take on a wife

or sire sons & a daughter

who might need his support

all he really wanted

was to paint the landscape

so others might notice it

sketch tubby women

languishing under domesticity

carve gods from wood

and be an artist

………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

And in closing this month’s column I am thrilled to report we have a visiting poet who submitted a piece at our invitation and I will be presenting him next month.

Anybody else out there brave enough…let us hear from you…contact us at m.diane.writeon@gmail.com or join us for our on-line writers group.

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